Conainne

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Conainne, also known as Dachonna, (fl. c. 500) was an Irish missionary and saint.

Conainne was a female missionary who evangalised in the Soghain area of County Galway. She founded a church at Cell Conainne ('the church of Conainne'), modern-day Kilconnell, it appears that the name of the more widely known St Connell was by error substituted for Connainne/Dachonna after the 16th century.

She may be responsible for the foundation of Tigh Dachoinne ('the church of Dachonna'), now the townland of Tiaquin, Athenry. It is thought that a children's burial ground may mark the site of the church. Furthermore, the burial ground itself is called Leacht an Óra (the stone monument of adoration')

The Martyrology of Oengus says she was of the Uí Maine, and lists her under the date 8 March, stating:

Conainne, i.e., of Cell Conainne in Húi Maini of Connaught, i.e. in Sogan, a daughter of the mother of Senán of Inis Cathaigh.[1]

This would make her a stepsister of Saint Senan.

In the life of Saint Attracta it is told that "approached her brother, St Connell, seeking permission to erect a nunnery close to his own foundation. He prevailed upon St. Dachonna to request his sister not to build in the area. St Attracta complied with her brother's wishes but was very displeased and is said to have denounced his church."

The Irish terms of endearment, mo and do, were regularly added to the names of Irish saints and secular people, hence the origin of her pet name, Dachonna.

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References[edit]

  • Mannion, Joseph. The Life, Legends and Legacy of Saint Kerrill: A Fifth-Century East Galway Evangelist, 2004. 0 954798 1 3